The Museum of the Weird is a museum location in the S.E.A. mythos originating from a walk-through attraction/Haunted Mansion expansion designed by Rolly Crump for Disneyland that was never built.
- 1 Description
- 2 History
- 3 Appearances and allusions
- 4 Connections
- 5 Trivia
The Museum of the Weird is a collection of the occult and the arcane. Several artifacts in the museum came from tribal rituals, Haitian voodoo practices and Romani culture.
- Candle Man:
- Crystal Ball:
- Face Armchair:
- Ghost Fish Aquarium:
- Grandfather Coffin Clock: This was a coffin-clock themed to being made from a coffin and human corpse-material which would have had a face that could move and interact with guests
- Man-eating plants:
- Mistress of Evil: The Mistress of Evil would have been a demonic entity imprisoned within the Museum of the Weird. She was shown to have wings and taloned feet while being characterized as a sort of malevolent sorceress.
- Mushroom People:
- Romani Vardo:
The museum had been in operation since the 1880s at the latest where it was run by a Romani woman named Madame Zarkov. Several high-profile people have asked for her help and guidance in the paranormal, over the years with the museum being affiliated with the Society of Explorers and Adventurers.
In Seekers of the Weird, the Museum of the Weird is located in New Orleans and operated by an organization known as the Wardens, as a means of safeguarding the world from various supernatural threats by hiding away magical weapons and dark entities away from those that would seek to exploit them. In the 14th Century at the height of the Black Death, the Wardens, lead by Enkidu Keep, was able to seal an entity known as the Reaper King that was driving the spread of the plague into a Coffin Clock. Ever since, the Shadow Society, a group of undying Reaper King cultists, have been trying to release their dark master, though the keys to the Coffin could only be used by Keep's youngest descendants.
While development was being done for the Haunted Mansion, Imagineer Rolly Crump came up with unique and strange designs for characters, furniture, and rooms. Unlike fellow imagineers, Crump thought the mansion should be fantastical. He believed that if they didn’t do something a little weird, it would end up as just a cliche haunted house. When Walt Disney saw the designs, he thought it was weird.
The following morning, Walt tracked Crump down and told him that there would be a home for his ideas. Eventually, the idea was settled on what would be dubbed the “Museum of the Weird”. It would be an alternative attraction to the Haunted Mansion, where the path split to a gallery where guests could walk through and view oddities from all over the world. When the walkthrough mansion was changed, the museum project was never built.
Appearances and allusions
In the 1880s, Society of Explorers and Adventurers president Jason Chandler consulted Zarkov at the museum about the goings-on at Big Thunder Mountain. Based on her guidance, he urged Big Thunder Mining Company owner Barnabas T. Bullion to stop the mining operations in a letter to his headquarters in Tumbleweed.
Centuries later, the Museum of the Weird would become a battleground for a hostage crisis when the Shadow Society's leader, Despoina, would capture Arthur and Ellen Keep to coerce young Maxwell and Melanie and their uncle Roland into giving her the Coffin Clock. The crisis was ultimately revealed to have been engineered by Roland, Arthur and Ellen to fulfill a prophecy that the Shadow Society would only be defeated if they were lured into the Museum, though the Wardens felt the risk was too great, if not outright treason and capture was not part of the Keeps' plan. Upon emerging from the Clock, the Reaper King would turn on the Shadow Society and strip them of their immortality as punishment for their centuries long failure to find him, before ultimately being sealed away again by the young Keeps' keys.
Disney Kingdoms: Haunted Mansion
The Kingdoms incarnation of the Museum of the Weird would later appear in the Haunted Mansion miniseries in one of the pictures in the Ghostly Materials Gallery showing various haunted places linked to the mansion by a supernatural portal network within the Endless Staircase along with Ravenswood Manor, Rainbow Ridge and the Hollywood Tower Hotel.
Madame Zarkov is a character coming from Pleasure Island's Adventurers Club where she was portrayed as a mystic member of its titular organization. Said attraction takes place in late 1937 however and the club was founded in the early 20th century, approximately twenty years after Chandler contacted Zarkov.
Many of Crump’s concepts for the Museum of the Weird made it into the final version of the Haunted Mansion, and can still be seen, today.
- In the early days of the attraction, a sign from the Ghost Relations Department advertised the Haunted Mansion containing a, "Museum of the Supernatural".
- The talking chair evolved into the chair next to the endless hallway, supposedly resembling Donald Duck.
- The arm scones, borrowed from Jean Coqteau’s Beauty and the Beast, are in the exit crypt.
- The haunted vardo cart became a merchandise cart at the Magic Kingdom owned by Madame Leota.
- Marble busts from his Seance Room became the staring busts in the library and loading zone.